hells_half_acre: (Other Fandoms)
[personal profile] hells_half_acre
I finished watching Teen Wolf Season 1 tonight.

It was good! I liked it. I was talking to someone the other day and they were asking me to compare Teen Wolf to another show - "Is it like Vampire Diaries?' "Uhh...no?" I don't watch Vampire Diaries, because when I have I've hated it - but I enjoy Teen Wolf. Mind you, maybe that's just because of my hatred of vampires and my love of werewolves. Seriously folks, werewolves are awesome and vampires need to die. I've chosen my side on the war, thanks. Anyway, I don't really know what other show to compare it to.

Now, of course this viewing wasn't a clean watch. I had already been reading fic in the fandom and so was spoiled for everything that was going to happen. I was pleasantly surprised by what was canon though.

For instance, after reading fic, I didn't expect the Sheriff to be as on the ball as he actually was. Man, Sheriff Stilinski kicks ass - and I'm not just saying that because he's played by Lindon "Johnny Cage" Ashby. He doesn't even know about werewolves and his son's lying to him every second day, but he totally puts together what's really going on in terms of motivations of our characters.

I also love how alike Stile and the Sheriff are. I think their probably the two characters/actors that I buy MOST as father and son. They're written VERY similarly, which is pretty cool to see. I mean, just that scene where the Sheriff pulls Allison over for speeding - his tone of voice and his mannerism are all Stiles. And of course there's the more obviously comparisons - like the degree of tenacity and obsession they both use when investigating something - not to mention that they both go after investigating with open minds, which is another thing that was refreshing to see about the Sheriff.

And while we're on the topic of the Sheriff, I should also say that I love the fact that he and Melissa McCall are written like human beings. I find there's a tendency in "teen" things to write parents as nonsexual clueless overseers who live only for their children - rather than people who have their own wants and desires and problems (of which their wayward kid is just one.)

Anyway, other things....

The fact that Derek is a born werewolf. This idea really intrigues me, because most werewolf stories are always about werewolves that are bitten, like it's the only way to become a werewolf. To me, having born werewolves completely changes the metaphor. Werewolf stories are always the Jekyll and Hyde thing - your human side and your animalistic side at odds with one another, the need to control your animal instincts, etc. But Derek, being a born werewolf, wouldn't have that divide. Derek would have always been both human and animal as one united being and for him that would be perfectly normal. Anyway, I find it fascinating. Basically, what I'm saying is that one thing that always annoys me in fic is when Derek talks about his "wolf" like it's a different person than him - because if he was born a werewolf it wouldn't be. Derek is a werewolf, he is not a human and a wolf in one body, he is just one being that is a werewolf. Scott is the one that might need to divide his personality in order to understand new instincts, but for Derek there's nothing new and no reason to compartmentalize like that.

Oh, I also liked the fact that it was canon that Derek's pack had humans in it. I think that's more interesting too than just having everyone in the family be a werewolf.

I can see why people ship Derek and Stiles. Yes, it's true that there's no bases for it in canon - Stiles is advocating for letting Derek die right up until the second-to-last episode. At the same time though, I think Stiles and Derek are the two most compelling characters, and I'll explain why...

Scott is the main character and the show follows HIS life and problems. His motivations are clear and his feelings are always known to us. He's the one thrust into a strange new life and it's through his eyes that we explore the world... we know Scott. Scott is great! He's not hard to figure out. There's no mystery there. There's just Scott trying to be a good person and not having to struggle very hard to do it. Scott IS a good person. Let's watch him be good... yay.

Stiles on the other hand does things like try to find dead bodies in the woods. Stiles uses people to get what he wants. Stiles lies to his father. Stiles gets his father drunk for information and yes, he feels bad about it, and yes, he eventually corrects his error - but he still does it. Stiles is also stupidly loyal and brave. Stiles crashes his jeep into a car carrying his best friend's mom and an alpha werewolf. Stiles runs across a field TOWARDS an alpha werewolf who has already attacked and possibly killed one person and there are absolutely no witnesses to prevent that alpha from killing Stiles too. Stiles knows Lydia is a genius even though no one else does, and he lets her walk all over his heart because at least she's talking to him... Stiles is a HUMAN running around with werewolves when there's no reason for him too. Stiles is interesting. What motivates him? Love and loyalty - and that's more compelling than just being a good person, because Stiles is NOT necessarily a good person ("[he] know[s] it keeps [him] up at night") but he loves a good person. Also, of course, Dylan O'Brian just draws the eye.. and I don't mean that in a "sexy" sense. I mean that in "he's a good actor" sense. He's got a thing about him that makes you just want to watch him... sort of like RDJ. When he's on screen, your attention is drawn to him.

And of course Derek has that whole tragic backstory going on. He's a mystery - who was he before his entire life was devastated? Was he always this way or did he use to be different? Could he be different again? Now, you could blame it on the shoddy writing, but we really don't even get a sense of who Derek really is, besides, most likely, someone who was once loved and is now completely alone in the world and who is, arguably, completely consumed with guilt. That's also someone is is more interesting than someone who is just a good person in a chaotic situation.

Anyway, yeah... I get it. Besides Scott and Allison, Scott and Stiles have the most loving relationship on the show - but they're very much just brothers (and yes, I know I'm a member of the SPN fandom, but I mean "brothers" in the non incestuous sense.) Jackson's a cowardly jackass. Danny is barely on screen in S1. Peter is a psycho who killed his own niece. Scott and Allison are canon and het, so that's boring... so who does that leave to ship? Derek and Stiles (and Allison and Lydia for the femslashers).

I also understand why it was such a big deal that Colton Hayes left the show. When I heard that when it happened, I thought "big deal, aren't there like 15 other people on that show?" But yeah... he IS kind of a big supporting part.

So, of course, the downfall of the show IS that it lacks emotional follow through - not to mention the number of "missing scenes"... how did Derek reveal that he wasn't dead after the incident at the school? How did he react to finding out that Scott and thrown him under the bus for the murders? What did the Sheriff say to Stiles about being absent from the lacrosse game when he was supposed to be first line? How was it that Peter was able to convince Derek that Laura's death was a mistake? ("It happens" - really? Do werewolves accidentally kill their family members all the time, Derek? If so, I think this is something we need to know about.) Could Scott really have cured his lycanthropy, or was that something Derek said just to get him to help?

Speaking of no emotional follow through though... let's talk about Derek. Personally, I think Derek projects his own insecurities. He tells Jackson that no one cares about him, because no one cares about Derek now that his family is dead - no one cares that he drives a nice car, or used to play basketball, or has perfect hair. And Scott is just a stupid teenager and isn't in love, because Derek was a stupid teenager who thought he was in love but was really sleeping with a psycho arsonist. See, this is why this show is good fic-fodder, and why Derek tends to be at the center, or near the centre of the fic. Derek needs the most additional writing, because the writers on the show don't write anything for him...but it's easier to tell stories from a human point of view, because that's what the fic writers are - so you get a whole bunch of Stiles POV fics about Derek. Voila, Sterek is born.

Anyway, off topic again...

I like the set up for S2 - with the "what the hell is Lydia?", bit Jackson, in the know Allison, and alpha!Derek. I like Derek's alpha-voice. "I'm the Alpha now!" - mmm, the alpha of my pants? Of course, like I said, this isn't a clean-watch and I know what happens in S2 and S3a though fic and gifs on tumblr, but it's still fun to see exactly how it plays out and the in between scenes that can colour the scenes that I do know differently.

I'm looking forward to S2, which I hear is better/worse (I've had conflicting reports)... and then S3a, which I hear is a clusterfuck.

Thankfully, one of my fears about getting into this show was that I'd have an overwhelming urge to write for it... but so far that hasn't happened. Yay!
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